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Auckland Transport

Distractions Distractions

Crashes as a result of driver distraction can lead to deaths, as well as serious life threatening injuries. These can include hospitalisation, rehabilitation and sometimes a lifetime of care.

The initial ‘Sophie’ campaign (launched April 2017) focussed on the serious effects of a driver distraction car crash which were life-changing for Sophie.

Our new campaign shows how these injuries continue to have a huge social and emotional impact on Sophie six months on. We see her best friend Anita enjoying a road trip and Rhythm & Vines music festival while Sophie’s life has stood still. She struggles to find the energy to get through the day, while undertaking intensive therapy in her recovery process as a result of brain injury and physical trauma.

We thank the staff at ABI rehabilitation for their assistance in making this campaign video.

There are three types of distractions:

  • Physical – taking your hands off the steering wheel or eyes off the road.
  • Cognitive – taking your mind off driving by thinking of more than one thing at once.
  • Emotional - engaging with other people or tasks on an emotional level resulting in physically narrowing peripheral vision and disrupting vehicle control.

Using a Mobile/smartphone whilst driving is one of the highest causes (inside the vehicle) of driver distraction crashes especially within the 20-39 age group.

Don't risk putting your life on hold

The first ‘Sophie’ video shown below focussed on the serious effects of a driver distraction car crash which were life-changing for Sophie.  It highlighted how using a mobile phone in the car can lead to serious injuries:

Auckland regional all attention/distracted crash statistics 2013 - 2017 (NZ Transport Agency statistics)

In the Auckland region between 2013-2017 there were 236 serious injuries to drivers who had their attention diverted, as well as 23 deaths.

Using your mobile phone while driving impairs your driving performance in several ways:

  • Slower reaction time especially when braking.
  • Reduced peripheral vision.
  • Impaired ability to stay in the correct lane.
  • Shorter following distances.

Don’t be tempted to use a hand held mobile phone in the car. In addition to the risks to yourself and others, it is against the law and you risk and $80 penalty fine and 20 demerit points.

Using a mobile phone while driving makes drivers take their eyes off the road, their hands off the steering wheel and their minds off the road. A driver is 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash when texting on a mobile phone and driving.


Sophie - my phone stops in the car

Handy information and advice on driver distraction